Law Report: 1 May 1998; Tenant Must Pay Rent Due at Date of Order Law Report: Maryland Estates Ltd V Bar-Joseph and Another
Kate O'Hanlon, The Independent (London, England)
Maryland Estates Ltd v Bar-Joseph and another; Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Beldam and Mrs Justice Bracewell) 23 April 1998
THE COUNTY court had power under section 138(3) of the County Courts Act 1984 to order a tenant against whom possession was claimed for non- payment of rent to pay not only rent due at the date of service of the writ, but also rent payable up to the date of the order.
The Court of Appeal allowed the appellant's appeal against an order made in the county court in possession proceedings against the respondents. The appellant was the freehold owner of premises let to the respondents, who fell into arrears in payment of the rent and service charges. The appellant issued proceedings in the High Court claiming possession of the premises, and arrears of rent and service charges up to and including 25 December 1994. The proceedings were remitted to the county court, and in October 1996 the appellant applied for a declaration that it was entitled to possession, and for an order that the respondents should give up possession unless, within 28 days of judgment, they paid the rent and service charges claimed, and also sums falling due since the issue of the summons in respect of rent and service charges. The deputy district judge made a declaration in the appellant's favour, but considered that he had no power under section 138(3) of the County Courts Act 1984 to order the respondents to pay more than the arrears of rent due at the date of service of the writ. His order was confirmed by the county court judge. The appellant appealed. Nicholas Dowding QC (Malthouse Chevalier) for the appellant; Arthur J. Moore (Jim McKenzie & Co) for the second respondent; the first respondent did not appear and was not represented. Lord Justice Beldam said that the issue turned on the interpretation of the phrase "all the rent in arrears" in section 138(3) of the 1984 Act. The wording of section 52 of the County Courts Act Amendment Act 1856, which itself largely followed the language used in section 212 of the Common Law Procedure Act 1852, was undoubtedly the statutory forerunnner of section 138 of the 1984 Act. …